It is common for women to experience menstrual problems. Though, it comes once a month and lasts for 4-5 days but these days causes a lot of discomfort. Cramps, backache, bloating, weight gains and some degree of shyness is all that you can expect from your menstruation cycle. Many women experience severe discomfort and they prefer keeping themselves fixed to one place. This is a time when most women even think of bingeing and overeating. It has been seen that an average women gains around 1-3 kgs of weight during this time.
Weight gain during menstruation is not a serious issue, at the same time; it is not difficult to get rid of the weight gained.
Causes of weight gain during menstruation cycle
Water retention also known as fluid retention is generally caused due to hormonal changes, which happens during the menstrual cycle. Many women indentify water retention as bloating. It has been observed that before and during period, women normally face bowel problem which also leads to water retention.
Tips to overcome water retention:
- If you feel bloated, you should try to reduce your sodium intake by reducing the amount of salt in your foods. Well Known Nutritionist Vasudha Sainik says, “Limiting the sodium intake will encourage your body to release the extra water it has been retaining. You can alternatively use rock salt, as it increases the potassium level and reduces the sodium level in the body.”
- Drink a glass of skimmed milk every day, as calcium available from the milk helps in getting rid of the water retention. Milk also provides energy through proteins and makes you feel energetic.
- Add potassium rich foods like apple, tomatoes, banana to your diet as potassium assists the body in fluid regulation.
Menstrual bloating is caused due to gas accumulation in the intestine. It is caused due to inactivity before and during the menstrual cycle.
Tips to overcome bloating:
Try to remain active during your menstrual days as well. Exercise or go for a walk in your garden. Total inactivity for 4-5 days may lead to weight gain.
Food craving and overeating
The hormonal changes that take place during the menstrual cycle causes water retention and invoke cravings in women. Studies suggest that women crave for sweets or carbs during the pre menstrual phase which leads to overeating. An average woman takes an additional 150 to 250 calories during this phase which may lead to weight gain.
Dr Jyoti Kulkarni renowned gynecologist from Nova Medical opines that food cravings in some women are caused due psychological reasons.
Tips to overcome food craving:
- Even if you get sugar cravings, try to eat healthy. Manage your craving by eating fresh fruits.
- Have 4- 5 small meals at regular intervals to avoid hunger pangs.
- Keep yourself hydrated. Drink lots of water, fruit juices, butter milk, coconut water etc. Drinking fluids will reduce the amount of sodium in your body and trigger your kidney to flush out excess water out of the body.
- Limit your caffeine intake. Vasudha Sainik says, “Caffeine intake releases endorphins. During the menstrual days, the estrogen levels are already high. Increase in two hormonal levels reduces the feel good factor.”
Dr. Jyoti Kulkarni, says, “Increase in the level of Progesterone hormone in the body causes water retention that leads to weight gain. Being active and performing regular exercises helps in reducing the discomfort caused due to menstruation.”
Though you cannot control your hormonal changes in your body you can definitely control your activity and diet and avoid all the inconveniences caused during the menstrual days.
It is important to remember that weight gain during menstruation is normal and temporary and will not impact your weight loss success. It will easily go away once you are done with your menstrual cycle.